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The Rise of Atheism


mairteenpak

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QuizMaster

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It's great to see rational thought replacing superstition, but sometimes I wonder are we throwing out one set of values and replacing them with nothing at all.

Though I'm an atheist, I'd rather take my kids to mass on a Sunday than take them shopping.
 

Tmesis

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Quizmaster,

I didn't realise it was an either/or choice. You can bring your kids to the park if you want, or spend Sunday morning having fun in some other way, can't you?

Plenty of irreligious people have values, good values, in fact, better values than religious people based on good sound empirical principals. The irreligious majority in the Scandinavian countries are hardly more immoral than the religious majority in this one, are they? So, that would suggest that morals are in some way universal, despite religion.
 

White Horse

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mairteenpak said:
Atheism is on the rise throughout the Developed World.
I thought that it was selfish greed and consumerism :? Or are they the same thing.
 

mairteenpak

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White Horse said:
mairteenpak said:
Atheism is on the rise throughout the Developed World.
I thought that it was selfish greed and consumerism :? Or are they the same thing.

Why imply that Atheists are less are less moral than theists?
 

Alliance

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Tmesis said:
The irreligious majority in the Scandinavian countries are hardly more immoral than the religious majority in this one, are they?
Scandinavians are "irreligious" now, are they? not from my experience. far from it. Church attendence doesn't have anything to do with religious conviction.
 

White Horse

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mairteenpak said:
White Horse said:
mairteenpak said:
Atheism is on the rise throughout the Developed World.
I thought that it was selfish greed and consumerism :? Or are they the same thing.

Why imply that Atheists are less are less moral than theists?
Consumerism is a moral code. Remember the mantra "greed is good".
 

TradCat

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Atheists are a bore. They worship a second rate polemicist like Dawkins more fervently than their granny prayed to the BVM yet they fancy themselves as radical thinkers for simply going along with the spirit of the age. If you are under thirty please disregard this criticism. You are entitled to be a bit naive.
 

silvamuppet

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mairteenpak said:
There is a distinct relationship between wealth, and atheism, as well as between quality of life and atheism.
The relationship isn't with wealth, it's education!

Agnosticism and non practicing religious beliefs (ie people who don't go to mass but say they are catholic/protestant etc) are also on the rise. People aren't ditching their god completely, they just are no longer sure about the traditional orthodox teaching.
 

Oppenheimer

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A lot of people regard themselves as Atheists, however, if they stopped to think about it they are more likely to arrive at a conclusion of agnosticism. Dawkins worries me a little with his "Atheists Unite" mantra - I'd rather see people move away from theistic philosophies and not make the mistake many of these did, i.e., organise themselves into cults that scrabble for the moral and spiritual high ground. Agnosticism provides a better solution insofar as it respects the views of believers and non-believers - it simply does not consider that proving one or the other is important and it frees up time for thinking about other things, like people's welfare, community and just accepting nature for what it is - natural!
 

White Horse

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silvamuppet said:
mairteenpak said:
There is a distinct relationship between wealth, and atheism, as well as between quality of life and atheism.
The relationship isn't with wealth, it's education!
Wrong. You could argue a little education causes a person to think they know more than their "ill-educated" forebearers and reject those beliefs they held dear.

However, the truely educated will understand the immensity of creation and the limitation of man's reasoning.
 

mairteenpak

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But there is a relationship between wealth and education, and a relation ship between education and atheism, so there must be some relationship between wealth and atheism. I take the point that it is the education that is operative and drives the other two elements.
 

Tmesis

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Alliance said:
Tmesis said:
The irreligious majority in the Scandinavian countries are hardly more immoral than the religious majority in this one, are they?
Scandinavians are "irreligious" now, are they? not from my experience. far from it. Church attendence doesn't have anything to do with religious conviction.
Okay, but that's not my point. The point is that religion is no guarantee of morality, and in fact, countries which report a higher incidence of atheism, irreligion are not reportedly also less moral countries.
 

Tmesis

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TradCat said:
Atheists are a bore. They worship a second rate polemicist like Dawkins more fervently than their granny prayed to the BVM yet they fancy themselves as radical thinkers for simply going along with the spirit of the age. If you are under thirty please disregard this criticism. You are entitled to be a bit naive.
Ad hominem is a bore. If you want to dispute atheism then argue about atheism. If you want to say that atheists are naive then demonstrate the naivety of atheism. The floor is yours.
 

Eddiepops

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QuizMaster said:
It's great to see rational thought replacing superstition, but sometimes I wonder are we throwing out one set of values and replacing them with nothing at all.

Though I'm an atheist, I'd rather take my kids to mass on a Sunday than take them shopping.
Yes, but thankfully those are not the choices in front of us. The purely philosophical position of do no harm, live and let live and living the best life you can lead can all be examined in an entirely non religious fashion. I have never believed in god, and got my morality instead from my parents, and a huge amount from culture - literature, film and even TV :oops:

The choice is not religion or desolation. I think Dawkins makes this point beautifully in many of his books when he highlights just how much more valuable and brave it can be to be moral as an atheist, without prospect of unearthly rewards or punishment.
 

rockyracoon

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It's the new religion.
 

Tmesis

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White Horse said:
silvamuppet said:
mairteenpak said:
There is a distinct relationship between wealth, and atheism, as well as between quality of life and atheism.
The relationship isn't with wealth, it's education!
Wrong. You could argue a little education causes a person to think they know more than their "ill-educated" forebearers and reject those beliefs they held dear.

However, the truely educated will understand the immensity of creation and the limitation of man's reasoning.
I don't think it is wrong to say that we know more today about how the world works than our forebears did. I think it is very wrong to sanctify the utterance of any generation, be it 2000 years ago or today. Ideas should always be open to testing. Religion prevents that with some ideas and therefore it is dangerous. On the other side of the coin secular governments and people have fallen into the trap of trying to ban the utterance of ideas, such as "holocaust denial", or have sanctified ideas such as Patriotism (esp. in America) and that is equally wrong.
 

Eddiepops

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rockyracoon said:
It's the new religion.
Good one. Did you come up with that yourself?
 

silvamuppet

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White Horse said:
However, the truely educated will understand the immensity of creation and the limitation of man's reasoning.
You could certainly argue that the more educated we are the more we understand of how little we know (if you know what i mean).

At the same time though through increased education people have thrown off blind dogmatic faith (believe what we tell you to believe). Maybe this will lead them to a more spiritual future, maybe a non spiritual one. Either way it's all good , IMO, that people might go down a personal route to whatever floats their boat rather than the authoritarian vision from the past!
 

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